rink
Photo: Samsung C-Lab

In Samsung’s C-Lab, a team of six people worked on a problem that haunts the Samsung Gear VR until this day – to have a fairly precise motion tracking system. Luckily, they’ve come very close to succeeding. In the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2016, the team presented their developed solution to the Gear VR’s problem: the Rink motion control system, stylized as “rink”. Rink brings full 360-degree hand movements and finger tracking to Samsung’s smartphone-based virtual reality platform. As a working prototype, the controller isn’t perfect but it does wonders for closing the gap between the most accessible VR headset on the market and higher-end models like the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive.

Samsung’s C-Lab incubator has been busy at CES 2016 showing off their latest experimental projects. Rink is one of these projects, along with a health monitoring belt and Tip Talk, which lets you hear calls and audio messages by pressing your finger to your ear.

The pair of Rink controllers, with the Rink motion tracking module on top of the Gear VR. Photo: Samsung C-Lab

Rink isn’t a consumer product right now. It’s a prototype from Samsung’s Creative Lab (C-Lab), which is an in-house incubator that lets company employees play with ambitious ideas and turn them into full-fledged startups. The set up requires a small unit on top of the Gear VR headset – Rink uses both infrared and a magnetic field for positional and 360 degree gesture tracking. It tracks most of your fingers with a good degree of precision. To interact with objects in the virtual world, you clench your fist up and set off a trigger in the process.

For now, the Rink is very much a work in progress which shows a lot of promise for Gear VR’s motion tracking. What’s great about Rink is that it brings a version of high end VR controls to a $99 headset which so far relies on head tracking, a touchpad and Bluetooth gamepads. But for something designed for a purposefully non-premium headset — one that costs only $100 — the Rink provides a major upgrade in immersion with a lot of developer potential. The team is referring to them as mobile VR controllers, which might give us a hint to the Rink as a possible third-party motion tracking accessory for other competing VR headsets as well, such as the Google Cardboard. Even in its prototype stage, Rink shows huge potential to become a full-fledged mainstream consumer product which will benefit mobile VR users.

For more information on Samsung Rink, please visit the following websites:

http://news.samsung.com/global/samsung-to-showcase-three-creative-lab-projects-for-the-first-time-at-ces-2016
http://www.cnet.com/pictures/trying-the-rink-a-way-to-use-your-hands-in-samsungs-gear-vr-headset-pictures/
https://www.wareable.com/vr/rink-samsung-gear-vr-controllers-review

http://virtualrealitytimes.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/rink-600x331.jpghttp://virtualrealitytimes.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/rink-150x90.jpgJohn Marco OscilladaControllersGear VRSamsung/GearVRIn Samsung's C-Lab, a team of six people worked on a problem that haunts the Samsung Gear VR until this day – to have a fairly precise motion tracking system. Luckily, they've come very close to succeeding. In the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2016, the team presented their developed...VR, Oculus Rift, and HTC Vive News - Cryptocurrency, Adult, Sex, Porn, XXX